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Wendy Hargreaves: Melbourne’s BEST bread

By Wendy Hargreaves

A great loaf of bread takes time, patience and experienced hands. Here are five of the best places to find them in Melbourne.

BAKER BLEU

260 Glen Eira Rd, Elsternwick,  (03) 9532 4786

If Melbourne’s top restaurant Attica chooses to serve this bread, it must be good. It all comes down to the fermentation process. Dough at Baker Blue is rested to ferment for 18 hours, resulting in dark golden crusts and perfectly chewy sourdough. Baker Mike Russell (who was known as “Blue” as a kid because of his strawberry-blonde hair) revived his childhood nickname at his own baker in 2017 after learning the trade with three of the best bakeries in Australia – Baker D Chirico and Sydney’s Iggy’s and Bourke Street Bakery. Look out for Mike’s Kimchi bread, created in partnership with the Fermentary.

LOAFER BREAD

146 Scotchmer St, Fitzroy North, (03) 9489 0766

This tiny artisan bakery creates some of the best bread and cakes in Australia. Get in early, as there are only a limited number of loaves baked each day, and they’re worth it.

SOURDOUGH KITCHEN

172 Victoria St, Seddon, (03) 9687 5662

The 24-hour fermented sourdough is always good, but on Wednesdays and weekends, ex-chef and baker Alex Rogers mixes in some delicious combos – caramelised onion + sage, comfit garlic + potato +dill,  sultanas + rosemary, and the famously good chilli corn + cheddar (great with avocado or bacon and eggs). Get in early, as these loaves sell out quick. You’ll also find them at the Flemington ,Coburg, Elwood, St Kilda and Slow Food farmers markets.

BAKER D CHIRICO

149 Fitzroy St, St Kilda + 178 Faraday St, Carlton, (03) 9534 3777

Consistently good year after year, the Baker D Casalinga loaf turns any bread dish into something special. And the cakes are next level.

WILD LIFE BAKERY

90 Albert St, Brunswick East, (03) 8060 0547

Rustic loaves are fermented for 24 hours, giving them crunch and chew at the same time. Wild Life’s rye is particularly good. This is an all-vegetarian bakery and toastie bar in a stunning warehouse space. Pick up one of their vegan lamingtons while you’re there.

Wendy writes online at fiveofthebest.com

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